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Lewis Pens Legislation to Rise the Tobacco Sales Age from 18 to 21



A dismissal from State Secretary Jason Lewis's office:

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Senate passed comprehensive legislation on Thursday, supported by Senator Jason Lewis, to reduce youth's access to tobacco and nicotine products. Tobacco use and nicotine dependence remain the leading cause of preventable diseases and premature deaths in Massachusetts, responsible for more than $ 4 billion in annual healthcare costs for the Commonwealth

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to nicotine addiction, nicotine has deleterious effects on the developing Brain and 9 out of 10 cigarette smokers start to use before the age of 1

8 years. The bill, a law protecting youth from the health risks of tobacco and nicotine addiction, increases the legal minimum selling age for all tobacco products to 21 years; adds steam products to the Smokeless Workplace Act; and prohibits the sale of tobacco products in healthcare facilities, including pharmacies.

"Massachusetts has long been a leader in protecting and strengthening public health," said Senator Jason Lewis, Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Health and the bill's main sponsor in the Senate. "This comprehensive legislation will bring the Commonwealth back to the forefront of preventing youth dependence on tobacco and nicotine products to improve health, save lives and reduce healthcare costs."

"We have come too far in our fight to protect young people from the dangers of tobacco and nicotine, and now turn back," said Justice Minister Maura Healey. "This legislation is an important step in ensuring that young people do not use these products, and I welcome the Senate for passing this important bill and preventing another generation from becoming addicted to tobacco and nicotine."

Over the past two decades, youth consumption of other addictive tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, has increased sharply. While nicotine delivery products such as e-cigarettes
can sometimes help nicotine-dependent adults quit smoking conventional cigarettes, they represent a significant new threat to the health and well-being of young people who have not consumed tobacco

To target young people directly, this legislation increases the legal age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21. This is a proven and effective strategy to reduce adolescent tobacco consumption by removing legally purchased tobacco products from the social networks. The city of Needham achieved a 48% reduction in youth tobacco consumption after becoming the first city in Massachusetts to increase the legal age of sale to 21. The Institute of Medicine projects that increasing the age from 18 to 21 will reduce total tobacco consumption in a population by 12% – equivalent to 150,000 Massachusetts tobacco users.

Meanwhile, the use of e-cigarettes of youth has grown alarming and becomes a pervasive presence in our secondary schools. The provisions in this bill build on the regulations issued by Attorney General
Maura Healey in 2016 and ensure that even the tobacco-free places, including schools,
restaurants and jobs, remain free.

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in this country, and 95 percent of all adult tobacco users start at the age of 21. If we can stop young Massachusetts residents from buying tobacco until they reach 21 years old We Save Thousands "Allyson Perron, senior director of government relations in the Massachusetts chapter of the American Heart Association, says," Any action we can take to keep the boys from taking that first deadly train should be eagerly pursued. We applaud the Massachusetts Senate This important step in improving the health and well-being of our young residents.

This bill also prohibits the sale of tobacco products in health facilities, including pharmacies, a
already in more than 160 of our cities and in a practice that has already been taken over by companies
such as CVS [1659004] Further Provisions , which are included in the bill, include new powers granted to the Department of Public Health.
regulate new emerging tobacco products; and language, the Center for Health Information and
Analysis requires the current benefits Investigating the Cessation of Commercial Insurers, MassHealth, and
the Group Insurance Commission

Many cities and towns have enacted policies to reduce tobacco use and nicotine dependence that go beyond
current state and federal laws and regulations and a patchwork various laws throughout
Create Commonwealth, which can confuse retailers, traders, consumers and public health officials. This
legislation will provide a unified national framework for the protection of adolescents and to facilitate interaction
between our state and local law.

The bill now returns to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where the bill was earlier
deepened, for adoption

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